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‘It’s what I’ve got to do’ - families speak movingly about fundraising for EACH

PUBLISHED: 11:43 02 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:43 02 September 2018

Kaiden Griffin who has a congenital heart defect, with his mum Kyra Welch, on his fifth birthday, after doctors thought he would only live for two years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kaiden Griffin who has a congenital heart defect, with his mum Kyra Welch, on his fifth birthday, after doctors thought he would only live for two years. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Two families who are fundraising for a children’s hospice charity have spoken out about how much their support has meant to them.

Kaiden Griffin. Picture: BONIKA BELSHAWKaiden Griffin. Picture: BONIKA BELSHAW

Nick Loades, and his wife Elaine, received bereavement counselling from the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) after the death of their 16-year-old daughter Ellie to cystic fibrosis in 2013.

And alongside Ellie’s friend Kyra Welch, mum to terminally ill five-year-old Kaiden Griffin, they are organising a charity gala dinner at Holkham Hall in support of the hospice.

Mr Loades, 50, said: “Ellie and Kyra were really good friends and when we lost Ellie, Kaiden was in Great Ormond Street (GOS).

“They’ve always been very close. We’ve both used EACH and we wanted to help them out.

Ellie Loades' parents Nick and Elaine are organising a series of fund raising events in her memory. Picture: Ian BurtEllie Loades' parents Nick and Elaine are organising a series of fund raising events in her memory. Picture: Ian Burt

“When Kyra said she wanted to hold it in Holkham Hall, I thought ‘that’s ambitious’.

“I’d like to get to £5,000.”

READ MORE: With love from Ellie - charity’s gifts to children in hospital for Christmas

Mr Loades, from Fakenham, added that he and his wife, 52, who together set up the charity Ellie’s Love, in their daughter’s memory, “like to put events on for people to come along and enjoy themselves.

Ellie Loades. Photo: supplied by the Loades familyEllie Loades. Photo: supplied by the Loades family

“You can keep asking people to sponsor you and they get nothing out of it”, he said.

“It’s a way of saying thank you - EACH have been a massive support.”

READ MORE: ‘He’s proved everyone wrong’ - terminally ill Norfolk child celebrates fifth birthday

And 23-year-old Miss Welch, from Holt, said: “We’d like to raise as much as we can.

“This is the biggest fundraising event that we’ve done. I’ve always said I wanted to do a gala.

“EACH have done lots of fundraising for the Nook Appeal but we’re going to donate to the ongoing services.

“Kaiden suffers from a rare heart conditions and is supported by the palliative care team there.

“We don’t really feel that we had a huge amount of support from the hospital so when we got in contact with EACH they were just absolutely amazing.

“There’s not much they can do at the moment but we know they’re there to support us, so I just feel it’s what I’ve got to do.”

READ MORE: Still fighting - young Kaiden Griffin continues big fight four years on

Miss Welch, who set up Kaiden’s Big Fight, a charity which helps the parents of ill children take them on holidays, added: “It’s a completely public event and it’s open to everyone. We only have three tables left to fill.”

The event will be held at Holkham Hall on Saturday, September 22, with 200 guests.

Mr Loades and Miss Welch are asking companies to donate prizes to be auctioned off on the night, or to sponsor a table for £100.

READ MORE: Holkham Hall gala dinner will raise funds for children’s hospices in East Anglia

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